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Greece Strengthens Ties with Uruguay Diaspora in First Visit of Greek FM

Greece Uruguay
Greek FM Nikos Dendias was welcomed by Uruguay FM Francisco B. Bonasso, in Montevideo. Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Greece seeks to strengthen its ties with Uruguay and the Greek diaspora in the South American country with the first-ever visit by a Greek foreign affairs minister.

Uruguay is a country of philhellenes. Ancient Greece features prominently in the South American country. Roads and squares have Greek names and statues of ancient philosophers decorate public buildings.

Nikos Dendias met with Uruguay’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Francisco Bustillo Bonasso on Tuesday and discussed the strengthening of the two countries political relations, and bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, environment, investment, shipping, tourism and culture.

They also discussed cooperation within the context of international organizations, including ones advocating women’s rights, the “Our Ocean Conference 2024” that Greece is hosting, and EU-Uruguay relations.

Two memoranda of cooperation were also signed by the two ministers, one on the training of diplomats and another on a mechanism of political consultations.

Greece and its community of Uruguay

Earlier on Tuesday, Dendias visited the “Maria Tsakos” Foundation in Montevideo, in the presence of Uruguayan professors of the Greek language, and members of the Greek community.

The Maria Tsakos Fundation was founded in Montevideo in March 1978 and was inspired by the love of Uruguayans for the Hellenic spirit and culture.

The Foundation developed into a principal center for teaching the Greek language and promoting Hellenic culture in the other side of the World, under the inspirational leadership of the late Maria Tsakos, Captain Tsakos’ daughter.

Up to the present day, the Foundation continues its work of teaching the Greek language, promulgating elements of the ancient as well as of the modern Hellenic culture and this work has contributed to consolidating the esteem of Uruguay’s political and intellectual leadership, together with the admiration of the Uruguayans for Greece.

Moreover, it has been strengthening the cultural ties between Greece and the Spanish–speaking people of Latin America.

Today, there are more than 3,500 thousand second or third-generation Greek immigrants, as well as a large number of natives who speak the Greek language.

According to a recent Eurostat survey, most Uruguayans responded that they identify culturally with Europe, with the first country to come to mind being Greece.

More than 20 streets in Montevideo have Greek names, statues of Greek philosophers adorn public spaces, while a central square in the capital is called Greece and another is called Athens. Also, the Greek commemorative days of 25th of March and 28th of October are celebrated in public schools.

A stunning mural of Laskarina Bouboulina, the heroic figure from the Greek War of Independence, graces the streets of Montevideo.

bouboulina mural uruguay
An impressive mural of Greek Revolution heroine Laskarina Bouboulina in Uruguay. Credit: Maria Tsakos Foundation

The painting of the heroine of the Greek Revolution is found at the entrance of the Tsakos Industrias Navales shipyard.

Founded by Greek captain Panagiotis Tsakos in the 1970s, the Tsakos Group is one of the most influential names in shipping in Uruguay and in all of Latin America.


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